Sledge of the day

Brisbane Times

Former world beer drinking champion and well known serial rooter Bob Hawke has a go at Campbell Newman, the likely next premier of Queensland.

Hawke at 82 proved he still had the touch. Labor supporters, given less than 24 hours notice, trooped in to the Gaythorne RSL in the Brisbane suburb of Mitchellton, keen not just to hear him speak, but to line up to be photographed with him.

And Old Silver wasn’t about to disappoint.

“I didn’t come up here today to launch a personal attack on Campbell Newman,” Hawke declared innocently.

“But I’ve got to say, in all objectivity you’ve got to ask yourself a question…”

The question, of course, was about Campbell Newman’s qualities as man and as an Australian. And in Bob Hawke’s estimation, he failed dismally on both counts.

“I believe last Sunday there was a debate,” Labor’s longest serving Prime Minister began. Everyone instantly knew what he was talking about.

Newman and Ms Jones had gone head to head, and at the end of it, Newman had behaved like a cad. Bob Hawke’s telling of it, his voice dripping with disdain, elevated the matter to high scandal.

“At the end of the debate, our lovely candidate, Kate Jones, offered to shake hands,” said Hawke, resting his fond gaze on the lovely candidate, his voice fairly quivering.

“And Campbell Newman refused to shake hands with her!”

“What? I mean…This is just not, to me, Australian!”

“How can an Aussie bloke at the end of a debate refuse to go and shake the hand of the young woman who he’s just debated?”

“That says something about the sort of person.”

“Here you have a young woman who’s grown up in the electorate, raised a family in the electorate – she’s got the runs on the board.”

“I do sincerely say that you should take these things into account: the quality of the person.”

“And I just cannot  bring myself to think that someone who refuses to shake the hand of a young woman after a debate like that is worthy of support.”

Hawke shook his head in sorrow.

Campbell Newman, pretty clearly, ought to be thankful that Old Silver hadn’t come to Brisbane to launch any personal attacks.

From his position as former world beer drinking champion and serial rooter Bob might well be right. From his position as former PM of Australia, admittedly a lessor position in the eyes of most Australians, he should have known if you run a nasty, negative campaign against a bloke he likely will tell your candidate to stick it when she tries to shake his hand.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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